Tag Archives: Heart Opening

5-Minute Try It: Presence. Connect. Play.

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PURPOSE:  Life begins with presence, the ability to be completely here with whatever is arising. This month we begin a series of practices that align with a vibrant way of orienting to life developed by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. We experience a taste of Presence. Connect. Play.- with our hands to become familiar with the practice. In the following weeks, we will unpack each aspect of this practice and bring it all together at the end.

PREPARATION:  Get willing to open and move through the world in a more joyful engaging way.

Minute one: Bring your non-dominant hand in front of you and begin to saturate it with attention. Notice the sensations that arise in your hand as you give curious attention to your hand.

Minute two: Engage your other hand by bringing it up closer to your first hand. Compare and contrast the felt sense of each hand. Allow your hands to move from presence to connecting.

Minute three: Notice how the feelings in your hands shift as they connect and relate to each other. Continue to connect your hands until there is a natural spontaneous arising to play.

Minute four: Allow your hands to move together and “play”. See what arises in spontaneous movement and connection. Notice how your attention retains presence as connection and play continue to spiral deeper.

Minute five: Deepen your practice using your hands with presencing, connecting and playing so that you retain the basic flow of this natural practice.

Complete your practice by presencing your hands, connecting your hands, and committing to engage in this activity for a month to build a basic muscle of presencing, connecting and playing.


5-Minute Try It: Appreciation…

PURPOSE: To become familiar with giving appreciation attention and how to practice spontaneous gratitude for others.

PREPARATION: Make a declaration to expand appreciation space. Then, commit to appreciating others when the inspiration arises.

Minute one: Get willing to appreciate with action. Wonder… hmmm, I wonder how I want to appreciate.

Minute two: Bring your attention to your heart and identify where appreciation lives in your body. What are the movements and sensations that accompany appreciation? Hint: usually tingles, sparky nudges, lightness, and smiles.

Minute three: Turn off your “judger” and begin spontaneous appreciation coming from those body nudges. Express out-loud: “I appreciate _________________” (fill in the blank). There is no formula or right/wrong.

Minute four:  Ramp up your appreciation by letting loose and not holding back. Have fun expressing gratitude and notice how it feels in your body to appreciate.

Minute five:  Self-appreciate doing this practice and notice that appreciating yourself or another has similar effects – generating appreciation space.

Complete your practice by committing to expanding your expression of appreciation in thoughts, words and deeds. Think gratitude. Write gratitude. Speak gratitude. Act with gratitude. Do kind deeds.

5-Minute Try It: What is my embodied motivation?

PURPOSE: To Access the Heart’s motivation on a particular situation, person or emotion. With practice you can gain clarity on what gifts are yours to share with the world.

PREPARATION: Locate a silent place to access your hearts wisdom (e.g. nature, a place without technology, or a place of prayer.)

Minute one: Bring attention to your entire felt sense of your body. Begin feeling the sensations on your skin. Intend to open inside.

Minute two:Being home in your body, bring your attention to your heart with breath and your hands placed on your heart. Breathe gently into your heart center and say hello.

Minute three: Notice the temperature, pressure and movement in your heart center as you wonder, hmmm, I wonder what my motivation is regarding my gifts to share with the world.

Minute four: Staying in the heart center, go deeper with, what are my unique gifts that will be lost if I do not share them with the world?

Minute five:Allow your heart to experience this deeper connection, to feel moved, to feel the motivation of what matters deeply to you. Note, often a tender emotion of tears and joy emerges as a sign that truth is being revealed.

Complete your practice by committing to return to your heart for embodied guidance and wisdom. Allow answers to arise in all ways – which means sounds, images, colors – rather than just words, and allow answers to arise over days and weeks. Write down your discoveries. Stay open and curious.

5-Minute Try It: Feel and Deal

Minute one: Choose a particular moment in time that you are triggered or bring to mind a situation that reliably gets you fired up. (No doubt our current climate offers plenty.)

Minute two: In this activated state, place 100% attention inside your body and feel the pressure, temperature and movement. Just feel.

Minute three: Follow each sensation to completion. Stay intimately connected to the sensation – like a sweet lover you never want to separate.

Minute four: When your sensations dissolve into an opening, enjoy the expanded space in your body and presence of your being. Wonder what’s possible.

Minute five: Allow your body to offer creative ideas, expression, possibilities for action. Notice how your body responds to each potential action.

Complete your practice by choosing one action that lights up your body and committing to that action by a certain date and time.

5-Minute Try It: Create your own “Well-Being” Forecast!

PURPOSE: To strengthen your shift muscle by actively choosing your own state of mind while recognizing the power of choice and intent.

Minute one: Obtain a 3×5 Index Card, or any card easy to transport, and pen.

Minute two: Write Well-Being Forecast at the top of the page. Bring your attention to your heart and belly, breathing into these spaces together three times.

Minute three: Select three states of mind that are alive for you. (Peaceful, happy, anxious)

Minute four: Intensify each state one at time. When you have an embodied felt sense of that state, draw a face depicting that state on your card. Repeat for each state of mind. You can add more “mind-state faces” if you desire.

Minute five: Return to your heart and belly with your clear attention. View these faces with light-hearted wonder. Ask yourself, how do these states of mind serve me? How do these states of mind limit me?

Complete this practice with your intention to play and practice. Use this Well-Being forecast each day for the week. At the end of the day, forecast your state for tomorrow. Check off the mindstate that you believe will manifest. At the end of the next day, reflect on the reality of your day. What happened? At the end of the week, notice how often your forecast came to fruition and when it did not. What happened when it did and did not? Were you present and clear or reactive?

Bonus: Use color pens and have fun creating your own Well-Being Forecast. Commit to practicing for a month and see what you discover. Do you have one state of mind that is always present? Are you feeling happier and more in choice? When you notice a reactive state, are you able to shift to a more useful state quickly?

And remember, you can choose your own forecast…

5-Minute Try It: Fear response? Melt-It!

PURPOSE: To gain access to your deeper wisdom for giving as an expression of love and appreciation.

Minute one: Relax in a setting that inspires you (nature, before a fire, on a meditation cushion…)

Minute two: Connect to the person to whom you want to give. It can definitely be yourself. Visualize yourself or him or her in a brilliant clear scene.

Minute three: Connect to your heart and visualize a flower opening to receive. Connect your person (or yourself as other) to the flower in your heart.

Minute four: Float the question, “What is it that wants to be given to ______ as an expression of my love and appreciation?”

Minute five: Rest in this place allowing inspiration to arise. Continue to breathe, being open and connecting in the heart.

Complete your practice with a commitment to trust whatever arises will be perfect for this person. Write down what you discover. Bow in generosity.